Prominent Mining Pools are Calling for the Taproot Bitcoin Upgrade

Prominent Mining Pools are Calling for the Taproot Bitcoin Upgrade

New reports show that roughly 9 out of 10 Bitcoin (BTC) mining pools support the Taproot activation. This network upgrade could significantly improve the Bitcoin network scalability and privacy features. However, considering that Bitcoin is in a Difficulty Epoc, an upgrade seems unlikely.

BTC.TOP became the latest mining pool to endorse the Taproot upgrade and did so on block 683,945. Other prominent mining pools, including F2pool and Antpool, have shown solidarity for the soft fork upgrade, which would give Smart Contracts on Bitcoin more flexibility.

Previously 95%, 70% of mining pools currently support the activation of Taproot. However, information from Taproot.watch noted that an update in the meantime seems unlikely, as there are 200 non-signaling blocks.

At press time, the signaling ratio is approximately 64.5%. However, the Taproot update can only happen when 90% of the 2,016 mined blocks signal for Taproot over two weeks. If this happens, the update will get implemented by November.

Taproot is a Bitcoin network upgrade that could improve transaction speed, scalability, privacy, fee reduction, and many more. Since 2017, following the BTC block size increase, the crypto community has patiently awaited the Taproot upgrade.

If this upgrade happens, it would be a significant milestone achievement for the network, considering that privacy, security, and scalability are primary concerns for Bitcoin users.

Key Bitcoin Levels to Watch — May 18

Following a failure to capitalize on a modest bullish wave earlier today, the primary has come under fresh bearish pressure and could post a leg down over the coming hours. The benchmark cryptocurrency could plummet below the $42k mark and lower over the coming hours as selling activities continue.

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

That said, a clean break above the $45k resistance (50 SMA) could be the only saving grace BTC has to end this bearish price action.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $44,000, $45,000, and $46,000, and our key support levels are at $42,000, $41,000, and $40,000.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.03 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $803 billion

Bitcoin Dominance: 39.4%

Market Rank: #1

 

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Bitcoin Could Come Under Heavy Regulations, as It Succeeds

Bitcoin Could Come Under Heavy Regulations, as It Succeeds

The charismatic founder of Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio, has warned that the success of Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies could become a big anchor at the Wall Street Journal “Future of Everything Festival” last week.

The Bridgewater founder noted that:

“Its own biggest risk is its success because as a store hold of wealth, no government wants to have an alternative currency.”

Dalio has been vocal with his concerns that Bitcoin could become a threat to regulators if it becomes successful enough to challenge their monetary sovereignty.

Dalio’s warnings come as regulators, like the governor of the Bank of England (BoE) and the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), remain hostile towards Bitcoin.

Last week, BoE Governor Andrew Bailey noted that Bitcoin possesses no intrinsic value, and investors that put their money into BTC should be ready to lose it all. Also, ECB Chief Christine Lagarde concurred with the governor, highlighting the use of Bitcoin as a money-laundering tool.

Meanwhile, the US also has its eyes on Bitcoin and crypto, as the new SEC chairman, Gary Gensler, emphasized the importance of a regulatory framework with healthy protection for investors.

Nonetheless, the co-chief investment officer at Bridgewater is optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies, noting that it is “exciting and unknown.” Dalio added that:

“Crypto as a digital clearing mechanism and so on, very exciting, very bullish. Crypto as a store hold of wealth very interesting. Probably will be important for us.”

Key Bitcoin Levels to Watch — May 16

Bitcoin continues to trade under heavy bearish pressure as trading volume falters. Although the benchmark cryptocurrency appears to have gained a mild bullish momentum over the past few hours, it still faces a real threat of falling below the $48k support, once again.

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

That said, the bearish aura could get dissipated by a clean break above the $51,400 resistance. Until then, buyers need to trade with caution.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $49,500, $51,400, and $52,500, and our key support levels are at $48,300, $47,000, and $46,000.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.28 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $917 billion

Bitcoin Dominance: 39.9%

Market Rank: #1

 

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Square Announces Halt of BTC Purchases on Carbon Footprint Concerns

Square Announces Halt of BTC Purchases on Carbon Footprint Concerns

Popular fintech payments processor Square has announced that it would no longer purchase more BTC in the foreseeable future. The latest decision got communicated by the Chief Financial Officer of Square, Amrita Ahuja, in an interview with Financial News.

The CFO stated that:

“We don’t have any plans at this point to make further purchases. There are no plans at this point to re-evaluate where we are from a treasury standpoint.”

Square has always been a known supporter of Bitcoin and was one of the first institutional investors to purchase BTC last year. The company currently has 5% of its cash holdings in Bitcoin.

The Jack Dorsey-founded payments processor bought $50 million worth of BTC last year October and doubled down on its BTC acquisition campaign in February this year, spending a total of $170 million. In its most recent earnings report, Square revealed that it suffered a $20 million loss on its Bitcoin investment in Q1 2021.

Square Highlights BTC Carbon Footprint

In her interview with Financial News today, Ahuja also cited the environmental concerns surrounding Bitcoin as one of the reasons the company is halting its Bitcoin purchases.

The Square executive elaborated that:

“Our position has always been that this is an area that needs innovation in terms of renewables and clean energy, and we want to be a part of that. There’s a broader supply chain question around how renewables and clean energy become a greater part of the blockchain in general and a greater part of the overall mining and transaction network. It’s the overall fixed footprint of the network that we need to address.”

The San Francisco-based company revealed research last month, where it cited that Bitcoin could serve as a catalyzing factor for miners to move to cleaner sources of energy in the long term.

That said, there has been a serious concern for the carbon footprint the Bitcoin network leaves because of its operational model. Mining, the primary process that ensures the verification of transactions and the creation of new coins, is an energy-intensive process. This process has sparked intense criticism from environmental conservationists, who argue that there are better and ‘greener’ alternatives to Bitcoin.

 

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Bitcoin Hash Rate and Mining Difficulty Soars Despite Recent Crash

Bitcoin Hash Rate and Mining Difficulty Soars Despite Recent Crash

Despite the recent market crash, Bitcoin (BTC) continues to soar in its fundamentals front. The benchmark cryptocurrency’s hash rate has rebounded from its recent dip and has clocked a new all-time high. Consequently, Bitcoin’s mining difficulty recorded its most significant spike in over seven years to a new all-time high as well.

Hash rate is the measuring unit of the processing power on a crypto asset’s blockchain. Typically, when miners are more on a network, the metric (hash rate) increases, and vice-versa. Also, the higher the hash rate, the more secure and prosperous the underlying network is.

Bitcoin’s hash rate has maintained a steady upward trajectory punctuated by minor dips over the past few years. This growth is primarily the resulting factor from the immense activities of Chinese miners. The most recent decline came in April after a massive power outage in Xinjiang province, a stronghold for BTC mining operations.

Reports show that the BTC hash rate fell significantly from 170M TH/s to 130M TH/s over a few days in April. However, it has rebounded since then to a new record high near 180M TH/s.

As the hash rate cleared a new record high, the mining difficulty got dragged along and saw its highest increase in about seven years (21.5%), according to Glassnode.

Key Bitcoin Levels to Watch — May 13

Bitcoin suffered a heavy loss over the past 24 hours following an unfavorable announcement from Elon Musk. The primary cryptocurrency fell from its $58k daily high yesterday to a $45k low early today.

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

Following the decline, BTC posted a healthy rebound to the mid-$51k level, where it consolidated for a while. However, Bitcoin appears to have resumed its bearish spiral to the daily low. That said, bulls have lost control as bears pump sell trade volume.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $49,500, $51,400, and $52,500, and our key support levels are at $47,000, $46,000, and $45,000.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.18 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $911 billion

Bitcoin Dominance: 41.9%

Market Rank: #1

 

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MoneyGram Launches New Bitcoin Cash Trading Service for US Customers

MoneyGram Launches New Bitcoin Cash Trading Service for US Customers

MoneyGram and Coinme, a licensed crypto-to-cash exchange in the US, recently announced the “launch of a new partnership to enable the cash funding and payout of digital currency purchases and sales.

MoneyGram is one of the world’s top cross-border P2P payments and money transfers facilitators, which currently caters to over 150 million customers across the globe.

Coinme is a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and ATM operator with over 20,000 locations for trading Bitcoin with cash through partnerships with Coinstar and MoneyGram.

In the official announcement, the companies noted that the partnership “will bring bitcoin to thousands of new point-of-sale locations in the U.S., with plans to expand to select international markets in the second half of 2021.” The report added that the new service would establish “global cash on and off-ramps and ensure access to Bitcoin.”

The announcement detailed that:

“The Moneygram and Coinme integration will provide a fast and easy way for customers to purchase bitcoin with cash and withdraw bitcoin holdings in cash.”

MoneyGram Limits the Crypto Service to the US for Now

According to the report, only select MoneyGram outlets in the US can offer the new crypto service when it launches in a few weeks.

However, the partnering companies will make the service available to other parts of the world with more crypto selection shortly after the launch in the US.

According to the information on Coinme’s website, the service is “available at 12,000 Moneygram locations.”

The companies revealed that the crypto service “is specially designed for customers who may be interested in utilizing bitcoin for the first time.

Speaking on the matter, the CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes, noted that:

“This innovative partnership opens our business to an entirely new customer segment as we are the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge with Coinme to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency.”

 

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Palantir to Begin Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Palantir to Begin Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Palantir, a software and analytics firm, has joined the growing list of companies accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments. The company made the announcement earlier today, adding that it was also considering holding Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on its balance sheet.

As far back as 2018, Peter Thiel, the co-founder of Palantir, has been making crypto-related investments, making a bid on the come-up of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

Earlier today, Block.one (a Thiel-backed software company) announced the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange named ‘Bullish.’ The new project has a whopping $10 billion in funding, with Thiel Capital being one of the leaders in this funding round.

What began with a wave of small businesses and organizations accepting Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments has become a massive trend in 2021, as hordes of institutional players buy into it.

With more companies accepting Bitcoin payments and investors moving portions of their wealth into cryptocurrencies, there is a real financial risk just on the horizon for companies that fail to adopt the new payment system. Many speculators believe that a time is coming when it would be too expensive to not accept Bitcoin payments.

Key BTC Levels to Watch — May 11
After suffering a 10% drop to the $53,400 support from yesterday’s high of $59,585, Bitcoin appears to be in recovery mode above $56k. The primary cryptocurrency faces the immediate task of clearing the crucial $56,700 resistance to cement a bullish recovery path to the $58k level.

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

That said, BTC stands a risk of falling to the $55k level, once again, if it stalls too long below the $56,700 – $57,000 resistance area.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $56,700, $57,500, and $58,000, and our key support levels are at $55,000, $54,000, and $53,400.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.47 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $1.07 trillion

Bitcoin Dominance: 42.7%

Market Rank: #1

 

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Massive Spike Expected in Bitcoin, as Miners HODL New Coins

Massive Spike Expected in Bitcoin, as Miners HODL New Coins

According to a recent report by Learn2Trade, Bitcoin (BTC) investors are continuously pulling out their crypto-assets from exchanges, which is a good indication that selling pressure is at a low, and price hikes could ensue shortly.

This proposition, which was put forward by CryptoQuant, has gotten confirmation from the on-chain analytics data provider. Through the evaluation of the Stablecoins Ratio—which involves the division of BTC reserves by stablecoin reserves on exchanges—CryptoQuant asserted that “potential selling pressure is weakening.”

The reason for this decline in selling pressure is because the number of stablecoins on exchanges reaching a record high, which could propel investors to buy BTC and other altcoins instead of selling.

Also, CryptoQuant revealed that miners have halted the transfer of newly-minted Bitcoins to exchanges, indicating that selling pressure from them has declined.

Meanwhile, while miners are holding their BTC coins and not selling, reports show that institutional investments are on a steady increase.

Massive withdrawals of crypto-assets from Coinbase are indicative of a large investors’ behavior.

CryptoQuant reported another massive crypto transaction out of the largest US-based crypto exchange made a few hours ago for 11,105 BTC. Based on the price of Bitcoin at press time, this transaction stands at roughly $644 million.

That said, the data provider reaffirmed that a significant price boost could be just around the corner.

Key BTC Levels to Watch — May 9

Following a goodish performance over the weekend, Bitcoin appears to have fallen into a slight consolidation with the $58k – $60k pivot zone. The benchmark cryptocurrency peaked at a three-week high of around $59,500, just a few points from the highly-coveted $60k psychological level. 

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

That said, the primary cryptocurrency is trading along a bullish trendline, which has lent adequate support to the recent price dip, as we anticipate a rebound to the $59k region.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $59,000, $59,500, and $60,000, and our key support levels are at $57,500, $56,700, and $55,700.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.44 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $1.08 trillion

Bitcoin Dominance: 44.5%

Market Rank: #1

 

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CryptoQuant Predicts Fresh Leg Up for Bitcoin Amid Supply Drought on Exchanges

CryptoQuant Predicts Fresh Leg Up for Bitcoin Amid Supply Drought on Exchanges

According to a recent report by CryptoQuant, Bitcoin (BTC) investors have withdrawn a significant amount of their holdings out of cryptocurrency exchanges, indicating that noticeable HODLing activities are going on. The on-chain data provider asserted that there is a massive price leg up in the works, as sell pressure has dropped.

As is typical with every tradable asset, Bitcoin’s price is determined by the level of supply and demand acting upon it. In the crypto space, the significant availability of digital assets on exchanges connotes a risk of a possible selloff, as investors can quickly offload their coins.

That said, when there are fewer coins on exchanges, it means investor confidence in the cryptocurrency is high, and selling pressure is low. This was the metric the CEO of CryptoQuant, Ki-young Ju based his predictions on.

The executive highlighted that a significant amount of Bitcoin “flew out of crypto exchanges in the last several days.” As a result, Ki-young asserts that the benchmark cryptocurrency is ready for another leg up.

According to data presented by CryptoQuant, Bitcoin fell from $14k to around $9k over a few days in 2019, as the amount of BTC on exchanges was at significantly high levels.

The opposite scenario appears to be playing out. In late 2020, HODLers began withdrawing large amounts of BTC off exchanges, which coincided with the start of the current bull cycle.

Key BTC Levels to Watch — May 6
After a day of immense volatility, Bitcoin fell into consolidation through the early hours of today, ranging between $57.5k and $56.7k. However, the primary cryptocurrency witnessed a break into the $58,000 pivot zone but failed to plant a firm foot at the new 3-day high and fell back into the daily consolidation range.

BTCUSD – Hourly Chart

That said, we expect to see a mild correction to the lower-$56k level over the coming hours, as bullish momentum weakens in the meantime.

Meanwhile, our resistance levels are at $57,500, $58,000, and $59,000, and our key support levels are at $56,700, $55,700, and $55,000.

Total Market Capitalization: $2.4 trillion

Bitcoin Market Capitalization: $1.06 trillion

Bitcoin Dominance: 44.3%

Market Rank: #1

 

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Vietnam Government Launches Inquiry into Crypto Industry for Regulation Purposes

Vietnam Government Launches Inquiry into Crypto Industry for Regulation Purposes

Vietnam has begun to show interest in the cryptocurrency industry, as the government recently announced the commissioning of a research group for the very purpose. According to the announcement, the inquisition into the crypto space comes as the cryptocurrency industry continues to gain global recognition and adoption.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Finance also announced that it is carrying out an in-depth study on cryptocurrencies for regulation purposes.

The government argues that about one million Vietnamese use digital assets and that this number will likely grow by 30 folds by 2030.

Vietnam is also witnessing a spike in cashless solutions for payments, like QR codes, e-wallets, and mobile apps. This boom in technology adoption got triggered by the Prime Minister’s push to reduce cash transactions by 90% in 2020.

The research will get centered on the existing legal frameworks in the US, Japan, and Europe:

“To understand the cryptocurrency industry; To recognize the existence of cryptocurrencies by amending the current law; To build transparent, predictable, and efficient regulations; To build responsive legislation concerning the high variability of the market; (…) To recommend structural adjustments by creating mechanisms to monitor the cryptocurrency market through skilled supervisory bodies; (…) To recommend tools to these supervisory bodies, namely powers to issue, suspend or revoke licenses, to regulate business practices, and to report suspicious activities.”

Vietnam Government is Concerned About Crypto-Related Scams
Vietnam’s desire to regulate the cryptocurrency space comes amid government concerns over crypto-related crimes, including hacks and scams.

The recent announcement cited the case of Modern Tech, a domestic tech startup, which swindled thousands of Vietnamese through shady initial coin offerings (ICOs) to the tune of $660 million. The report noted that:

“Therefore, implementing a legal device to manage and handle virtual assets is the current challenge of Vietnam. It would also set boundaries to abusive cryptocurrency transactions, which is the government’s main concern.”

Presently, the Vietnamese government does not recognize cryptocurrencies as a legal payments solution or a tangible asset. Recently, the State Bank of Vietnam branded Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies as illegal and warned that individuals caught trading them could face fines as high as $8,700 and jail time.

 

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Hundreds of Banks in the US to Offer Crypto Services to Customers

Hundreds of Banks in the US to Offer Crypto Services to Customers

A recent report by CNBC shows that hundreds of banks in the US will start offering Bitcoin (BTC) exposure to their customers this year, courtesy of a strategic partnership between Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) and the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG). Several banks have enrolled to get listed in the program in anticipation of capital movement from bank accounts to cryptocurrency exchanges.

That said, customers of these banks will be able to buy, hold and sell Bitcoin through their bank accounts.

FIS is a vendor to banks with a cumulative customer base of about 300 million checking accounts. Although hundreds of banks have enrolled in the program, Patrick Sells—head of bank solutions at NYDIG—noted that the firm is in talks with some of America’s biggest banks about offering Bitcoin service. The executive noted that:

“What we’re doing is making it simple for everyday Americans and corporations to be able to buy bitcoin through their existing bank relationships. If I’m using my mobile application to do all of my banking, now I have the ability to buy, sell and hold bitcoin.”

Bigger Banks to Join Soon
The president of NYDIG, Yan Zhao, argued that banks used to avoid dealing with Bitcoin but are now showing interest in the investment vehicle, as customers are moving their funds out of their bank accounts into crypto exchanges. Zhao noted that:

“This is not just the banks thinking that their clients want bitcoin, they are saying ‘We need to do this because we see the data.’ They’re seeing deposits going to the Coinbases and Galaxies and Krakens of the world.”

Meanwhile, Rob Lee—head of digital banking at FIS—noted that he expects big banks like JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America to become pressured to offer crypto investments to their customers given the recent development with banks in the US.

 

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  • Min Deposit
  • Score
  • Visit Broker
  • 20% welcome bonus of upto $10,000
  • Minimum deposit $100
  • Verify your account before the bonus is credited
$100 Min Deposit
9
  • Award-winning Cryptocurrency trading platform
  • 14 Cryptoassets available to invest in
  • FCA & Cysec regulated
$200 Min Deposit
9.8

Highly volatile unregulated investment products. No EU investor protection.

  • Over 100 different financial products
  • Invest from as little as $10
  • Same-day withdrawal is possible
$100 Min Deposit
9.8
  • Trade top Cryptos such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum plus more
  • Zero commissions and no bank fees on transactions
  • Around the clock service with support in 14 languages
$100 Min Deposit
8.5
  • Award-winning Cryptocurrency trading platform
  • $100 minimum deposit,
  • FCA & Cysec regulated
$100 Min Deposit
9.8

Author : Azeez Mustapha

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Azeez Mustapha is an experienced author, trader, markets analyst, signals strategist, and funds-manager.